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  1. #21
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    Default Re: Can a Cop Pull You Over Just Because the Car is Registered to a Unlicensed Driver

    O
    Quote Quoting L-1
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    Let me add to what cdwjava said.

    Most officers working traffic or running license plates for wants are first looking for violations. There's not enough time to pay attention to the ethnicity or gender of every vehicle's driver as it passes by, nor do they wonder if initiating enforcement action against a vehicle that turns out to be driven by particular group's member is going to be proportionate or disproportionate to that groups' percentage in the population.

    Instead, they see a violation or get a hit on a license plate, pull in behind a vehicle to initiate a stop and all they see is the back of a head. 90% of the time a plain and simple traffic stop is initated, it's not until the officer walks up to the vehicle that they have any idea as to the race or sex of the person they are stopping.
    Obviously the issue being discussed doesn’t apply if there is no chance to see the driver, at least until the driver is observable. It also obviously doesn’t apply when there is a valid basis for reasonable suspicion such as your suggestion of times where there is a violation

    if you will read case law, you will see that even after a stop predicated on the basis of the registered owner having a suspended license that once it is obvious the driver is not the registered owner, reasonable suspicion is no longer present and the detention now becomes unlawful unless there is other justification to continue it. How far the involved cop can go is in question in many jurisdictions.

    It goes much further than the simple justification of not being able to see the driver prior to stopping.

    The kansas v Glover case I linked earlier takes it even further and questions whether it is even reasonable to assume the registered owner is actually driving the vehicle. Apparently even the Supremes have an issue with jumping to conclusions too quickly and appear to be considering the point that the owners license being suspended doesn’t justify pulling over an unknown person. In essence the current situation allows for a stop not based on any actual evidence leading to suspicion of a crime but extending the registered owners issues on to the vehicles which is allowing a person who the police have no reasonable suspicion to stop be stopped. While I suspect Glover will lose given the broad definition of what is reasonable suspicion in the current political atmosphere, the fact they have taken up the case at all should give a person pause when suggesting it is as simple as associating the owner with the vehicle and that suggests there is a crime being committed.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Can a Cop Pull You Over Just Because the Car is Registered to a Unlicensed Driver

    Here in NC (I was riding along with the local sheriff), unless they can identify the operator as the one with the suspended driver license, the policy is that there's no reasonable suspicion for the stop. Of course, once they get a hit on the driver's license, they can certainly follow around the vehicle until the operator does something that is reasonably an infraction. Hits on the car registration are a lot easier, especially revoked registrations (usually an insurance lapse). They'll often give the operator a break on those if they aren't the registered owner, but they still confiscate the tags and have the right to have the car towed from the highway.

    Digging through California case law, I can't find any involving where the suspended owner's operator license was the sole issue. In fact, in each case, they mention that, the pretense for the stop was always some other violation of the vehicle code (basic speed, failure to have a front license plate, etc..). Glover indeed seems to be the operative decision here. Shepping that case doesn't show anything contradictory.

  3. #23
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    Aug 2013
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    281

    Default Re: Can a Cop Pull You Over Just Because the Car is Registered to a Unlicensed Driver

    I am missing something here. If the car is driving down the road or highway or freeway, how does the officer run the car's plates while his/her prowler and the other car are still moving? That sounds like something done AFTER the stop occurs. Which would imply this is not the reason for the stop. Even if there is a second officer in the car, reading a license on a moving car at a distance sounds difficult. And the "driver is not the registered owner" also sounds like something determined after the stop and after the officer looks at the driver's ID.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Can a Cop Pull You Over Just Because the Car is Registered to a Unlicensed Driver

    Quote Quoting DAWW
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    I am missing something here. If the car is driving down the road or highway or freeway, how does the officer run the car's plates while his/her prowler and the other car are still moving? That sounds like something done AFTER the stop occurs. Which would imply this is not the reason for the stop. Even if there is a second officer in the car, reading a license on a moving car at a distance sounds difficult. And the "driver is not the registered owner" also sounds like something determined after the stop and after the officer looks at the driver's ID.
    Well, there are enough instances in case law available to show it happens.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Can a Cop Pull You Over Just Because the Car is Registered to a Unlicensed Driver

    In stop and go traffic or at lights or other traffic impediments, it's not hard for a single officer to type in registration numbers. Most of them get pretty handy at typing with one hand.

    Agreed, unless the driver is someone the officer knows, it's unlikely they're going to ID them in a moving vehicle.

  6. #26
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    Oct 2014
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    Default Re: Can a Cop Pull You Over Just Because the Car is Registered to a Unlicensed Driver

    Quote Quoting DAWW
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    I am missing something here. If the car is driving down the road or highway or freeway, how does the officer run the car's plates while his/her prowler and the other car are still moving?
    In a growing number of police agencies the cars are equipped with automatic plate scanners that scan the plates of all vehicles and then instantly pull up the info on any cars that are on the wanted list, have expired registrations, etc. No need to manually input plate numbers. The police in DC, for example, make a lot of use of that technology. That might have been the case here, too. I suspect it won't be all that long before that's fairly standard equipment for large and even mid-size agencies.

  7. #27
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: Can a Cop Pull You Over Just Because the Car is Registered to a Unlicensed Driver

    Quote Quoting jk
    View Post
    O
    Obviously the issue being discussed doesn’t apply if there is no chance to see the driver, at least until the driver is observable. It also obviously doesn’t apply when there is a valid basis for reasonable suspicion such as your suggestion of times where there is a violation

    if you will read case law, you will see that even after a stop predicated on the basis of the registered owner having a suspended license that once it is obvious the driver is not the registered owner, reasonable suspicion is no longer present and the detention now becomes unlawful unless there is other justification to continue it. How far the involved cop can go is in question in many jurisdictions.

    It goes much further than the simple justification of not being able to see the driver prior to stopping.

    The kansas v Glover case I linked earlier takes it even further and questions whether it is even reasonable to assume the registered owner is actually driving the vehicle. Apparently even the Supremes have an issue with jumping to conclusions too quickly and appear to be considering the point that the owners license being suspended doesn’t justify pulling over an unknown person. In essence the current situation allows for a stop not based on any actual evidence leading to suspicion of a crime but extending the registered owners issues on to the vehicles which is allowing a person who the police have no reasonable suspicion to stop be stopped. While I suspect Glover will lose given the broad definition of what is reasonable suspicion in the current political atmosphere, the fact they have taken up the case at all should give a person pause when suggesting it is as simple as associating the owner with the vehicle and that suggests there is a crime being committed.
    My apologies. I should have made it clear I was not attempting to address your issue. Instead, I was speaking to those folks who claim the officer only stopped them because they belonged to whatever group they perceived as being victimized at the moment.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Can a Cop Pull You Over Just Because the Car is Registered to a Unlicensed Driver

    Quote Quoting L-1
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    My apologies. I should have made it clear I was not attempting to address your issue. Instead, I was speaking to those folks who claim the officer only stopped them because they belonged to whatever group they perceived as being victimized at the moment.

    In the words of emily Latella


    oh...never-mind.

  9. #29
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    Sep 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: Can a Cop Pull You Over Just Because the Car is Registered to a Unlicensed Driver

    Quote Quoting DAWW
    View Post
    I am missing something here. If the car is driving down the road or highway or freeway, how does the officer run the car's plates while his/her prowler and the other car are still moving? That sounds like something done AFTER the stop occurs. Which would imply this is not the reason for the stop. Even if there is a second officer in the car, reading a license on a moving car at a distance sounds difficult. And the "driver is not the registered owner" also sounds like something determined after the stop and after the officer looks at the driver's ID.
    Some agencies have vehicles equipped with plate readers which can automatically obtain the info. In other cases, it's a matter of an officer simply running the plates via radio or an MDT searching to see if the registered owner is wanted or unlicensed. As has been stated, if the stop is made based upon the possibility that the driver is wanted or unlicensed, and the person behind the driver's seat is CLEARLY not the driver (usually more a matter of gender than race since most states do not include race in the DL info), then if the driver is clearly not the person in question, the reasonable suspicion for the detention (arguably) ceases. Absent some other good cause to prolong the detention, you can simply tell the driver to have a good day and everyone's on their way.

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
    View Post
    In a growing number of police agencies the cars are equipped with automatic plate scanners that scan the plates of all vehicles and then instantly pull up the info on any cars that are on the wanted list, have expired registrations, etc. No need to manually input plate numbers. The police in DC, for example, make a lot of use of that technology. That might have been the case here, too. I suspect it won't be all that long before that's fairly standard equipment for large and even mid-size agencies.
    We're seeing pushback against this technology out here by civil libertarian groups. Only time will tell whether or not we will be able to enable this tech on a broad scale or not. We're seeing a lot of anti-law enforcement rhetoric and legislation out here right now, so if I had to guess, I'd say that we won't see it integrated too fast out here.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Can a Cop Pull You Over Just Because the Car is Registered to a Unlicensed Driver

    Quote Quoting jk
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    In the words of emily Latella


    oh...never-mind.
    In the words of Roseanne Roseannadanna,

    It's always something.

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